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The Daily Beast - The Lion Whisperer - October 16, 2010

Toronto Star Picture Editor Wanda Goodwin shares these delightful images of Kevin Richardson a.k.a "The Lion Whisperer."  A new film opening soon in The United States about a rare white lion who escapes becoming a trophy on a wall, is a rare happy ending in a country where more than 1,000 lions are killed legally each year. Kevin Richardson, the man behind the movie, calls himself an "ambassador of lions" and hopes the film will act as one too at a time when foreign tourists are willing to pay up to $40,000 to shoot a big cat.


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Kevin Richardson, a.k.a. the Lion Whisperer lays with two of his lions on October 11, 2010, in their enclosure at the Kingdom of the White Lion park in Broederstroom, South Africa. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)


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Kevin Richardson sprays his lions with water and citronella in their enclosure.  (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)


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Kevin Richardson wrestles playfully with a lioness.  (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)


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 Kevin Richardson shows the size of a lion's tongue.  (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)


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 Kevin Richardson snuggles a lioness to his chest.  (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)


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Sorry, but this guy is lunch waiting to happen.

The greatest smile of my day. The hunting of these creatures is criminal
A sytem set up where the names of these people who travel there to hunt could be posted in their own countries would be welcome.

Amazing pictures..beautiful! Thumbs up for this man who does stand up for these gorgeous creatures!

Great work and wishing you all the best with the beautiful animals...Just maybe one day man will realy open there eyes and see the damage we have done with God's creatures. (The lyons are beautiful as his helper play safe.)

BEAUTIFUL!!! I love the pics and love animals. I believe all wild animals should be free and left alone. I think killing them for fun is cruel and should be stopped. People are so bored with their lives that they have to kill everything beautiful in this world! Stop animal killings!!!

I've seen this man on a television documentary. It's true that he could be attacked one day by one of his cats, but he has a special relationship with them, that's a fact.

May God bless you richly, Kevin. We need more men like you in this world.

If you have either Siegfried or Roy’s phone number please send it to this guy.

Incredible photographs. Shoot animals with cameras, shoot poachers with high powered rifles.

shame on anyone who would shoot a big cat or any other wild animal for sport - the 40,000. could be best spent elsewhere.

as for Kevin, you are an amazing human being - may god bless & keep you.

and the lions - beautiful, magnificent animals

Amen to that!!

What is that that he has around his neck? Is that a tooth...a lion's tooth? Just curious

Lion goes RAWR!!!!!

All I see are two beautiful species living, playing, and communicating in perfect harmony. Let us not only keep it that way but, even more so, build a perfect relationship with all other species in our animal kingdom so we can all share our mother Earth!

It must have taken HOURS to arrange the stuffed animals into positions like that!

Great man, great work. Can't believe morons are paying $40,000 to kill these wonderful animals for sport. Ridiculous.

He is playing with fire and animals will act like animals.
It is great to preserve and protect them, but it doesn't mean you have to wrestle with them.
They are a predator for a reason.

I've seen him with the hyenas too... Great stuff well documented. This man is extraordinary, and hopefully carries on without having his life compromised, as so many of the passionate free-lancers in the past.

amazing pictures

look forward to seeing movie

You know, they're just animals. there's nothing wrong with hunting them. besides, most of the money paid to game reserves to kill a lion goes to the conservation of other lions.

does he still work with hyenas? i truly loved his work with them . looking forward to seeing lions

Of course he's wearing a lion's tooth around his neck. All animals lose their teeth. Kind of like keeping your childs lock of hair or 1st tooth.

I think this is absolutely adorable. So cute and sweet that he can make such a connection. I just hope that he's aware of the fact that these animals are wild, no matter what we see here. They are still wild animals with their instincts fully intact. Our pet dogs and cats still have these instincts, but through many thousands of years of forced evolution, those instincts have become less strong, although they are still there (which is why you carefully approach an unknown dog, be careful of sudden movements and how you handle them, etc.). Some people don't seem to understand this: they think that just because the animal appears to be tame and sweet, they will stay that way. They won't. Just turn on your TV or search the internet and you'll see story upon story of animal encounters gone wrong. Also, it's true they may stay tame and not hurt you. However, they may do something that they think is play or affectionate, but is actually harmful to us. Just thought I'd point that out.
But, that said, I say once again: these are so cute!! If they weren't so dangerous to have as pets, I totally would have a tiger as a pet.

good for this guy.. and i think it would be awesome to be able to chill with some lions... but seriously has he never heard of the grizzly man.. this guy thought he could bro it up with a bunch of grizzly bears and he got mauled to death.. THEY ARE WILD ANIMALS

I have never quite understood how it is considered a sport to shoot animals of any kind with high powered rifles from 200 meters away. But, if you tell me how a man might have gone bare handed and taken one down I might be impressed. In any case, mankind seems determined to kill virtually all animals on the planet and yet not be able to keep our own species from multiplying beyond the holding capacity of the earth itself. Kudos to anyone willing to make a difference.

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